Campaign looks to ‘welcome back’ tourists

Blue Water Bridge. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Tourism Sarnia-Lambton (TSL) is eager to welcome back visitors, along with warmer springtime temperatures.

The “Welcome Back to Sarnia-Lambton” campaign launched this week and features new videos to promote local attractions and businesses.

Executive Director Mark Perrin said advertisements have been geared to attract Ontarians looking to take advantage of the Staycation Tax Credit and American tourists.

“We have lots of Easter activities, the beach and waterfront and our natural attractions… Rock Glen, Pinery Provincial Park, all those kinds of natural attractions in the area are great all-year-round but especially as the warm weather hits,” said Perrin. “As we move into the spring, we have lots of different events taking place, our downtowns are picking back up with some outside nightlife entertainment. It’s really about exploring the area.”

Perrin said now that testing requirements have been lifted for fully-vaccinated cross-border travellers, TSL has noticed an uptick in American tourists and expects that to continue.

“So far we’ve had a lot of Americans dropping into our centre and our store and saying the [travelling] process was much easier than expected and we expect that word to keep getting out,” Perrin said.

As an incentive to promote local tourism, guests at participating hotels who book a stay in April will receive a $25 gift certificate.

“There are over 300 partners part of the program and it covers accommodations so people can use it on their stay or can go shopping — using it either at a retailer, or restaurant, or an attraction.”

Perrin said TSL has been successful with its certificate incentives in the past.

“Our discover Sarnia-Lambton gift certificate program has been a huge success, it was provincially recognized and with the program, it’s a way we can really make rewards happen but those rewards stay within Sarnia-Lambton,” said Perrin. “Those really are creating a huge economic impact that the dollars spent stay locally in our community.”

Perrin said TSL is looking at programs and incentives that can be offered in future months as well.